Not so long ago, our roads, buildings, gravestones and monuments were built from local rock, our cities were powered by coal from Welsh mines, and our lamps were lit with paraffin from Scottish shale. At the height of the empire, British stone travelled across the world to India and China, Sri Lanka and Argentina, Singapore and South Africa. There were thousands of mines, quarries, slag heaps and brick pits across the British Isles. We live among the remnants of those times - our older cities are built from Bath limestone, or Aberdeen granite - but for the most part our mines are gone, our buildings are no longer local, and the flow of stone travels east to west. Spurred on by the erasure of history and industry, Ted Nield journeyed across this buried landscape: from the small Welsh village where his mining ancestors were born and died, to Swansea, Aberdeen, East Lothian, Surrey and Dorset. Delving into the history and geology of this forgotten Britain, and into his ancestors' connection with its rocks, Nield unearths the veins of coal, stone, oil, rock and clay that make up the country beneath our feet, exploring what the loss of kinship between past and present means for Britain and the rest of the world today.